The Family Friendly Factor: Key to Employee Satisfaction and Reduced Turnover

In the light of today’s rapidly changing, globalized economy and the pressure it puts on organizations to recruit and retain human capital, employee satisfaction has become a prerequisite for organizational success. An organization’s benefit system can play an essential role in this aspect. Taking into consideration that paid parental leaves are being offered by the majority of countries worldwide, while the United States is the only industrialized nation that does not offer paid parental leave to working parents, this study compared the influence of paid parental leave (PPL) on employee benefit satisfaction and its effects on job satisfaction and turnover intentions in the United States and Germany. It presents research undertaken on two sample groups of 108 part-time and full-time employees of childbearing age (n = 54 United States, n = 54 Germany). The central finding of this study is that employees with access to PPL have significantly higher levels of benefit and job satisfaction. While results showed no significant difference between German and American participants in benefit satisfaction, job satisfaction and turnover intentions, they revealed that employees with high levels of benefit satisfaction scored significantly higher on the job satisfaction scale and showed significantly lower turnover intentions. Results from a mediation analysis using the PROCESS Macro for SPSS, indicated that benefit satisfaction mediates the relationship between job satisfaction and turnover intentions. Practical implications of this study apply to HR practices regarding organizational benefit systems and family friendly policies. By providing PPL to the changing workforce, organizations can increase their employees’ benefit satisfaction, which in turn can help to improve job satisfaction and reduce turnover rates. Therefore, PPL presents itself not only as an effective way for companies to promote the commitment and loyalty of their employees but also as a strategic business advantage in the competition for human capital.

Disparities in Knowledge Employees’ Actual, Contractual, and Desired Working Schedules

Our study on a sample of Estonian creative knowledge employees indicates considerable disparities between their actual, contractually agreed, and desired amounts of working time. Nearly two thirds of the employees studied exhibited a mismatch between their desired and contractual working schedules, reflecting the constraints that employment contracts set on preferred working time. Our study results reveal that even if the employees had access to flexible working time options, a majority of them still followed roughly the standard nine-to-five working schedule even though their desired timing of work may have been different. This may be driven by various social norms and family commitments that warrant further study. The actual duration of the working day is longer than contractually agreed for 90 percent of the employees studied, which may pose health risks to employees. Our ordinary least squares (OLS) regression estimates show that the more educated the employee is, the less overtime work they did, while the higher their salary level, the more hours of overtime the employee did. The OLS regression estimates for the time difference between the actual start and the contractual start of the working day show that women tended to start their working day later and men earlier than officially required. Interestingly, the larger the family the employee had, the more the actual start time of work shifted to being earlier than contractually required. The older the employee, the later the start of their working day was from the official schedule. Our study highlights potentially large inefficiencies in industrial relations and in the use of the potential of employees in creative knowledge work that may have considerable adverse effects on the financial results of companies and on socio-economic development in general.

Institutional Guardianship: How Leaders in Nonprofit Academic Organizations Resolve Ethical Dilemmas in their Work

Leaders in nonprofit organizations, such as colleges and universities, are often tasked with ethical burdens. Yet, little is known about what these issues are and how academic leaders approach the ethical dimensions of their work. Through a pilot study involving in-depth interviews with thirteen deans at private, nonprofit liberal arts colleges in the US, this article documents a “guardianship framework” as a method by which higher education leaders serve the “best interests of the institution.” The article argues that this guardianship framework serves as a prism through which organizational life is experienced, and impacts how ethical decisions are identified and resolved. Previous research on ethical decision-making in organizations has focused primarily on business rather than on mission-based organizations. The surprisingly strong effect of a “guardianship framework” to decision-making adds to our understanding of how those who work in nonprofit, mission-based organizations, such as colleges and universities, employ a notion of ethics to their work.